The NBA free agency period is off to a frantic start. We’ve already seen some pretty big names change teams and quite a bit of cash being thrown around. When it comes to some of the best signings in this free agency period so far, it doesn’t always have to relate to how good a player is. A good signing for any team is when you’re able to bring on talent without breaking the bank.
Some people will look at the Knicks signing Jalen Brunson or the Wizards resigning Bradley Beal as some of the best signings so far in free agency. When you look deeper into the talent pool, there are lots of under-the-radar talented NBA players who won’t see that kind of money but will be able to make a big impact on whatever team they go to. The players listed below fit that bill. These players probably won’t average 25 points a game next season, but what they bring to the table will make any team. When you’re able to bring in an impact player for cheap, that’s the true meaning of a great free-agent signing.
NBA Free Agency: The 3 Best Signings So Far
Gary Payton II
The Portland Trail Blazers signed Gary Payton II to a three-year, $28 million dollar deal. Payton is the perfect player to play alongside Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons due to his prowess on the defensive end. Payton is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton. Just like his pops; he’s a menace on the defensive end. Payton was able to get a substantial amount of playing time this season due to injuries. With that playing time, he made the best of it. In 71 games played, Payton averaged 7.1 points and a mind-boggling 1.4 steals in 17.6 minutes. If you translate those numbers over a 36-minute period, that’s 14.5 points and 2.8 steals. Acquiring a player that’s all about hustle and defense is an absolute steal at that price.
Lonnie Walker IV
The Los Angeles Lakers needed to make some type of value move this off-season. In years past, we’ve seen the Lakers take the aging veteran approach to help fill out their roster. So far during this NBA free agency period, the Lakers are trying a different approach. The Lakers signed 23-year-old Lonnie Walker IV to a one-year deal worth $6.5 million dollars. Walker brings some youth to an older Lakers squad. This kind of signing can pay big-time dividends for the Lakers. Injuries have slowed down his development as a player. If Walker can stay healthy; he can be a part of the future for the Lakers. The 6’4” shooting guard is coming off his best season with the Spurs. Walker set career highs in points per game (12.1), rebounds per game (2.6), and assists per game (2.2). Walker will need to improve on his shooting but he makes up for that with his uber athleticism. The Lakers might have found a diamond in the rough if Walker is able to develop into the player people thought he was going to be.
The lasting image people have of Kevin Knox is when Zion Williamson manhandled him, stole the ball from him, and preceded to destroy the rim. In actuality, Knox is a bucket-getter. People forget that Knox is a former Kentucky Wildcat who was selected 9th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Pistons could come away with an absolute steal if they allow Knox to get on the floor and show off his three-level scoring abilities. Knox hasn’t gotten much playing time since his rookie season with the Knicks. When Knox did play, he put up 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds. Knox will more than likely come off the bench for the Pistons. If he can put up 12-15 points a game for Detroit, his two-year, $6 million dollar deal will be the ultimate discount.